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Genomics. 2000 Jul 15;67(2):153-63.

Gene structure and expression of the mouse dyskeratosis congenita gene, dkc1.

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Department of Molecular Genome Analysis, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg, 69120, Germany.


Mutations in the DKC1 gene are responsible for causing X-linked recessive dyskeratosis congenita (DKC) and a more severe allelic variant of the disease, Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome. Both diseases are characterized by progressive and fatal bone marrow failure. The nucleolar protein dyskerin is the pseudouridine synthase component of the box H+ACA snoRNAs and also interacts with the RNA component (human telomerase, hTR) of the telomerase complex. Dyskerin is therefore thought to function in the processing of pre-rRNA and of the hTR, strengthening the notion that the underlying mechanism of DKC is a premature senescence of cells, especially of the rapidly dividing epithelial and hemopoietic cells. To examine the functions of dyskerin in vivo, it will be necessary to generate mouse models. As a first step, we here provide the genomic structure of the mouse Dkc1 gene and expression analysis of the transcript. Northern hybridizations revealed the tissue-specific expression of an alternative 4.5-kb transcript, in addition to the ubiquitous 2.6-kb transcript. RNA in situ hybridizations on day 10.5-18.5 postconception embryos showed a ubiquitous expression of Dkc1 with a notably higher level of expression confined to the epithelial tissues. In addition, higher level Dkc1 expression was confined to embryonic neural tissues as well as to specific neurons in the cerebellum (Purkinje cells) and the olfactory bulb (mitral cells) of the adult brain. In adult testis, elevated expression was limited to the Leydig cells. The results indicate that some of the pertinent functions of dyskerin may be more tissue-specific than previously thought and are not limited to rapidly dividing cells.

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